The Nebraska Health Policy Academy Presents: Public Health Policy Short Course

Mid-term event

April 16, 2014
College of Public Health
Room 3009
9 AM – 5PM
Emery Crump

The Nebraska Health Policy Academy is pleased to be hosting policy experts James Emery, MPH and Carolyn Crump, PhD from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill for a one day training event. Emery and Crump will conduct interactive exercises around policy development, analysis, and advocacy to address public health issues in Nebraska communities.

Registration Deadline: 5 PM on Friday April 4, 2014

Click here to register: Public Health Policy Short Course Registration Form

Priority will be given to individuals from local health departments. Registration is limited to 2 people per agency/organization, on a first come, first serve basis.

Short Course Fees:

  • $30 per person
  • Fees include instruction, materials and lunch
  • Registration fees cannot be refunded

Limited spots are available for this opportunity and once they’re gone, they’re gone! So register soon by completing the registration form.

If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact Kelly Shaw-Sutherland at

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in early 2010, there have been a lot of legal challenges that have come to the forefront of the healthcare reform debate, including the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and federal regulation of state commerce to name just a few. In an issue brief released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on December 9, 2013, the authors reviewed the most recent challenge taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. In late November 2013, the Court accepted two separate cases to decide on the constitutionality of whether the contraceptive mandate, a requirement of the ACA, infringes on protections of religious freedom under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).

The brief outlines the two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, and discusses the potential ramifications if the Court does not uphold the mandate.  Currently, nonprofit, religiously affiliated organizations (i.e., houses of worship) are exempted from the mandate that requires all new private insurance plans to provide access to all FDA approved contraceptive methods. However, “insurance companies are required to cover the cost of contraceptives for employees of religiously affiliated organizations that have requested… [a religious]… accommodation at no cost to the employees or the employers.” To qualify for the accommodation the organization must have religious objections to providing some or all contraceptive coverage, file as a nonprofit, advertise as a religious organization in the public domain, and self-certify that they meet the first three criteria.

The Court’s decision, expected by June 2014, will try to lay to rest whether for-profit, private businesses should be afforded the same protection of rights as individuals and religious organizations under the First Amendment and the RFRA, which could have broad reaching policy implications for both equality for women in the workplace and religious freedom.

To read the entire issue brief, click HERE


Nebraska Health Policy Academy Application Deadline This Friday, December 13, 2013

If you haven’t gotten a team together to apply for the Nebraska Health Policy Academy (HPA), you still have time!


If you are interested in learning about the health policy process that will help you link your everyday practice work to relevant policy issues, then you have come to the right place for you. The HPA is a competency-based training program designed to strengthen the capacity of state, local, and tribal health leaders and their key partners to understand the health policy process.  The Academy uses a hands-on approach grounded in problem solving, decision-making and leadership.


Please contact Kelly Shaw-Sutherland at for further information or questions. The next cohort will begin January 2014.